A home for every Jew in Japan!

Chabad Lubabitch – Japan, Tokyo

Did you know that Jewish life in Japan goes back more than a hundred years? Today Chabad Lubabitch of Japan, Tokyo opened by Rabbi Mendi Sudakevitch, emissary of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in Japan, and his wife Chana welcomes all Jews living in and traveling to Japan. Our goals are to strengthen local Jewish life, facilitate observance of Jewish traditions, and foster a sense of community.

Since its opening in 2000, the Chabad Lubabitch of Japan, Tokyo has brought together a wide variety of people. At our Shabbat table, you are likely to meet Jews living the expat life in Japan, young Israelis traveling around the world, and businessmen and women from Europe, the United States, South America, and more.

Whether you are looking for a warm Shabbat and Holiday experience, curious about the availability of kosher food in Japan, wondering about schooling opportunities for Jewish children in Tokyo, or just eager to meet other Jews, this is your address.


Japan Needs ‘Foreigner Blood’ Like Naomi Osaka’s

Jake Adelstein
09.17.18 7:18AM ET

(((Notable))) excerpts:

Japan’s xenophobia runs deep, and it’s something the country will have to conquer if it hopes to be a winning nation.

Osaka’s victory has raised questions about what it means to be Japanese and whether Japan is ready to create the multiracial society it needs to survive and thrive as a nation. Japan’s xenophobia runs deep, and it’s something the country will have to conquer if it hopes to be a winning nation.

She was asked at a press conference last week, in the Japanese language, “Your achievements have some people saying it’s time to re-evaluate the old idea of Japanese identity, which is to be Japanese you have to be born of a Japanese man and woman… how do you see your identity?”
She responded with, “Is that a question?”

The alt-right in the U.S. and extremist elements in Japan like to credit ethnic homogeneity in Japan as the reason crime is so low and fatal shootings remain in single digits almost every year.
No. That’s primarily due to an omnipresent well-paid police force and gun-control laws that are strictly enforced.

Even in what appears to be an ethnically homogenous society, especially one that values conformity and harmony, there are layers and layers of discrimination and xenophobia. Japan, once allied to Nazi Germany, inherited much of the racism that was prevalent in the West before and after World War II. And of course, Japanese women, just on the basis of being women, and the LGBT community here, face discrimination all the time.

Prime Minister Abe has announced bold plans to bring more foreign workers into Japan, but refuses to use the word “immigration” or offer up any road map to let these people of “gaijin blood” become Japanese citizens. The government has been faulted by the United Nations for failing to deal with hate speech and appears to even be stoking the flames of xenophobia and prejudice.

Japan has to decide how to combat racism, embrace multiculturalism and tolerance if it wants to survive.

Japan has to become more welcoming of foreigners and multinationals.

Yes, ironically, in a broader sense Nikkan Gendai is correct: Japan is really going to have to “rely on foreigner blood.”

It’s a matter of mathematics.

As far back as the year 2000, the United Nations Population Division in a paper, “Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Aging Populations?” noted, “In order to keep the size of the working-age population constant at the 1995 level of 87.2 million, Japan would need 33.5 million immigrants from 1995 through 2050.”

Changing the laws to recognize multi-nationality wouldn’t be hard. It would certainly be much easier than a vigorously opposed attempt to rewrite Japan’s constitution. Discouraging racism, embracing diversity, and welcoming more people to Japan–the government can do that.


Japan enacts law allowing private firms to operate water services

December 6, 2018 (Mainichi Japan)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The Japanese Diet on Thursday enacted a controversial law allowing private companies to run water supply services, with many public businesses falling into the red in the country, despite concerns about higher water bills and deterioration in quality.

The revised Water Supply Act is aimed at bolstering municipal water services as many local governments are struggling to update aging facilities and secure earnings amid a shrinking population.

But critics are worried that the law, which paves the way for local governments to sell the rights to manage water supply services for as long as 20 years, would effectively lead to privatization, which could prove unsuitable for making reliable responses in times of disaster.

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, one third of municipal governments managing water supply services were unable to cover running costs with water bills, and the situation is expected to worsen further due to the country’s declining population.

In the year through March 2017, 15 percent of the total water pipes in use had exceeded the maximum durable life of 40 years set by law. At the current pace of pipe replacement, it will take 130 years to complete renovation of all the water pipes.

The law will encourage cooperation among local governments and introduce the concession system — a private finance initiative in which facilities owned by public entities are run by the private sector.

Six local governments including Miyagi Prefecture and the city of Hamamatsu are already considering introducing the system.

In other countries, privatization of water supply businesses has often led to higher bills and poorer water quality. According to a survey by a private Dutch research group, at least 267 cities in 33 countries decided to resume public water services after making them private.

According to Yoshiki Seki, a professor of environment policy studies at Takushoku University, water bills tend to rise after privatization as distribution facilities are often monopolized by the supplier.

The city of Paris concluded a concession contract in 1984 with major French water suppliers Veolia and Suez but water bills saw a 3.5-fold increase over about 25 years, according to Seki.

Opposition parties criticized the welfare ministry for not studying the law’s potential impact well enough, arguing it has researched only three cases abroad of privatized water supply services that eventually returned to being public.

Mizuho Fukushima of the opposition Social Democratic Party also claimed the government is engaged in “unfair practices” as a female policy research member in the Cabinet Office’s unit dealing with the matter was seconded from the Japanese arm of Veolia.

The opposition camp argued the government “is trying to sell off (public) water businesses for the profit of a foreign company.”

A woman in her 70s who joined a citizens’ rally against the legislation said the de facto privatization of public facilities is “problematic as taxpayers’ money has been spent on them.”

“We should not seek efficiency in matters which are directly linked to our lives,” she said.

Prior to the enactment, the bill had cleared the House of Councillors on Wednesday and the ruling bloc railroaded it through a lower house panel later that day.

(Dead link – article pulled from archive)

Japan now has a line of eyeglasses and sunglasses specifically designed for plus-sized women

In recent years, there’s been an uptick in plus-sized fashion in Japan. The country now has a monthly magazine dedicated to apparel for larger women, called La Farfa, and we’ve even see lingerie makers seeking to satisfy the traditionally underserved demographic.

Jins has recently released a line of four eyeglass designs, which it collectively calls “Big Shape,” specifically created for plus-sized women.

While plus-sized clothing and accessory options have been increasing in Japan, the same couldn’t be said for glasses. Common complaints were that existing eyeglasses were either uncomfortably tight, pressing against the wearer’s cheeks, or, if simply purchased in larger sizes, too loose to stay in place. In response, the new line’s frame and nose pads are angled to keep the lenses where they should be without feeling tight or constricting